Celebrations will mark the latest stage of work on town’s historic windmill

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

A 19th-century landmark is due to reopen its doors following recent renovations.

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Grade 2 listed Dereham Windmill, based at the end of Greenfields Road, has been closed while extensive painting is carried out on the outside of the building.

To mark the completion of the work, which has cost in the region of £18,000, a reopening event has been organised for next month.

It will be the first chance for visitors to view the new audio visual display - a projection of miller, William Fendick, who bought the windmill at auction for £650 in 1844.

The project is the latest effort from the Dereham Windmill Charity Trustees, Friends and volunteers, and will run alongside other exhibitions, including the ground-floor video presentation which showcases the windmill's history and upper floors.

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant


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Alison Webb, head of fundraising, was proud of how far the project had come.

'It has become more than what we ever could have dreamed of,' she said

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Chairman of the trustees, Brian Webb, added: 'It has evolved more than what we ever though it would become.'

In September 2013, the £75,000 project to revive the town's historic windmill came to fruition . It has since gone on to raise more than £450,000 over the past five years, maintaining a well-used exhibition space for schools and community groups, as well as opening a cafe.

Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

The project received its main financial backing of £50,000 from a Biffa Award, but at the time Dereham Town Council, Norfolk County Council, the Society of the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Paul Bassham Trust Fund and the Geoffrey Watling Charity also contributed.

It is also considered as one of the prettiest windmill's in Norfolk.

The windmill will reopen on June 3 at 1pm.

During the family-friendly event, there will games, a children's fancy dress parade at 2pm, and a classic car display.

Inside Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

Inside Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

The coffee shop has remained open and is available to visit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

The popular teddy bears' zipwire event will return in August.

- If you would like to help by donating or volunteering, visit the website www.derehamwindmill.co.uk. If you are interested in any aspect of Dereham Windmill, email info@derehamwindmill.co.uk.

Dereham Windmill. Pictures:SONYA BROWN

Dereham Windmill. Pictures:SONYA BROWN - Credit: Archant

Brief timeline of Dereham Windmill*

1836 - Built by millwright James Hardy for miller and baker, Michael Hardy.

1844 - Sold at auction for £650 to William Fendick.

Mills and WindmillsDereham WindmillDated 8 August 1991Photograph C1755

Mills and WindmillsDereham WindmillDated 8 August 1991Photograph C1755

1909 - Sold to Charles Robert Gray and Arthur James Milk for £450.

1914-1918 - Used for grist milling, oats and barley during First World War for animal feed.

1922 - Gray dies. Sails removed and steam engine replaced by a paraffin engine.

1926 - Milk dies. Firm trades as Robert Gray Ltd.

Dereham windmill in 1947.

Dereham windmill in 1947. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant.

1937 - Ceases working and becomes derelict.

1972 - Becomes Grade 2 listed.

1978 - Bought by Breckland District Council from Greens (Nurseries) Ltd for £1.

1987 - Opened to public by J. O. C. Birkbeck.

Mills and Watermills Dereham Windmill renovation Dated 13 March 1979 Photograph c1404 S. Hunt

Mills and Watermills Dereham Windmill renovation Dated 13 March 1979 Photograph c1404 S. Hunt

2002 - Taken over by Dereham Town Council.

2006 - Sails removed for renovation. Application for £600,000 Lottery Grant applied for.

2010 - Boarded up after failed funding attempts.

2011-13 - Funding and renovation organised.

September 2013 - Reopens.

Revival of Dereham Windmill*

Dereham Windmill is the last of several windmills which existed in the Dereham district.

It is located in Cherry Lane, near Neatherd High School, and is a five-storey masonry tower mill with a boat shaped cap winded by a six bladed fantail.

The pupils of Neatherd High School were asked what they wanted the windmill to be and - alongside amazing suggestions like a helter skelter - they said they wanted to be able to have a place to hold exhibitions, such as displaying their art work, photography, artefact displays, and to hold events between the schools.

This would be in addition to visiting the windmill to learn more about its history.

In September 2013, the pupils' dream was made a reality when the windmill was officially opened as an exhibition space for local pupils' work with information on the windmill's history.

*Taken with permission from the website.

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